The Rubicor Group, a recruitment firm that spans multiple industries in Australia and New Zealand conducted a survey about flexible work arrangements back in 2010. The group consulted 382 professionals from both Australia and New Zealand companies in different industries.
Based on the results, organisations both in Australia and New Zealand had existing flexible work practices, 80% of respondents in fact stated that they did. However, only 50% of them stated that they had a policy in place about flexible working arrangements. In addition, 55% of the respondents admitted that they only talk about these flexible working arrangements sometimes or they forget to talk about it at all during the recruitment process, but 75% believe that flexible work arrangements would have a positive effect in attracting the right staff.
This shows that even though a lot of organisations had policies in place about flexible working arrangements, only a few talked about it during the hiring process, potentially missing out on attracting skilled employees who might be looking for flexible work. When it came to their current staff, 84% of the hiring managers and executives believed that flexible work practices have positive effects on staff retention, 44% of them however were unsure if their staff knew about it.
With the statistics presented above, it can be assumed that most employers, though aware of the possible benefits that flexible work arrangements can provide, have not fully explored the best proactive promotion of them to attract and retain staff. There is still opportunity for organisations to further educate and train their frontline managers to ensure that everyone is aware of the flexible work practices on offer. Managers can then be equipped with the necessary information to impart to others and promote flexible workplace policies and their benefits to their staff and new employees.
When staff are aware of the policies and benefits of flexible work, the advantages that the respondents identified will surely be felt more. Some of the benefits for employers that Australian respondents identified are as follows:
- Higher levels of retention – 80.95%
- Higher employee engagement – 73.26%
- Improved morale – 73.26%
- Reduced absenteeism – 68.50%
- Reduced staff burnout – 63.37%
- Increased productivity – 57.51%
- Assist in talent sourcing – 45.42%
When the same Australian respondents were asked what other benefits they can think of, these are some of the items that they stated:
- More motivated & committed individuals
- Employees seem to be happy to come to work
- Culture will improve dramatically
- Females/mothers will stay in the workplace
- Assisting in bringing people back into the industry that left as they could not manage working a full time role but could work a flexible role
- Word of mouth. Current employees will pass on the message about the flexible conditions of our workplace
As flexible work arrangements become more popular and in demand, each organisation will need to strive to get flexible work arrangements implemented. It’s then important to ensure that the policies are documented and then used to attract future employees and retain current ones. Based on the survey, most managers and executives have a great idea of what flexible work can bring to their organisations, but there’s certainly opportunity to get everyone properly educated to spread the news all throughout the organisation.
Share your story with us, what flexible working arrangements does your/could your employer offer to help attract and retain staff?